#journamalism Feed

Note to Self: Council on Foreign Relations: Economics, Identity, and the Democratic Recession: Session Two: It’s not clear to me thatanyone who thought they had a lot of political influence twenty years ago now thinks they have more save, possibly, for Sheldon Adelson and our strange modern analog of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick: Rupert the Kingmaker. But even Rupert...

Look: the basic business model of Fox News is there are many people in America whose view of the world was not being validated by any of the major news networks. This was a market opportunity. Rupert Murdoch pursued this market opportunity. The form in which Roger Ailes and his successors pursued it took the form of scaring the piss out of old people, so their eyeballs would stay glued to the screen so they could be sold fake diabetes cures and overpriced gold funds.

But it is not at all clear to me that Rupert the Kingmaker thinks he’s in control now. There are other people willing to play the same game. Fox News tried to go in against Trump a little bit in 2016, and yet very quickly reversed course. I would like someone to tell me why: what did they see that made them not just get in bed with Trump but tie themselves spread-eagled to the mattress? David From once said: "We thought Fox News worked for us, but then we learned we worked for Fox News." Who, now, does Fox News think it must work for—or lose its audience and its profits?

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There are many things desperately wrong with people who write for the New York Times. Here we have Jack Nicas, boy mocking girl for crying, which is a not-good and very middle-school look: Jack Nicas: "What's strange about Apple events https://twitter.com/elcush/status/1171863358137454593: Many Apple bloggers act as fans, not journalists. One person in the media section literally gave Tim Cook a standing ovation; another cried during an Apple Watch ad...

Ellen Cushing: i was the crying reporter sitting next to Jack. I was crying because it’s a video about people with disabilities overcoming challenges and also sometimes my face makes water whether I want it to or not??

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Note to Self: Why was Jonathan Weisman's economic policy reporting for the Washington Post so execrable back in the mid-2000s? A person who was, as they say, very, very, very, very, very familiar with the matter:

Jonathan's big problem is that he's not that deep into the issues, and he has no backup. There's nobody that he can go to in that building to tell him 'this was how X was trying to mislead you' or 'this is Y's history' or 'be very careful here: if you get this detail Z wrong, they'll come down on you extremely hard'...

In retrospect, I think we can conclude that it was not that Weisman was mismanaged by the Washington Post editorial staff: I'm happy to believe that there was gross mismanagement, but gross mismanagement does not lead one to contrast the view of Paul Krugman with that of Donald Luskin or of a White House aide who does not dare give his name and say "economists furiously debate". That is someone who has made a deliberate decision to make their career by being a complaisant mouthpiece for insider anonymous sources

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Note to Self: Let me say that I am 100% behind Roxane Gay here. When Jonathan Weisman was covering economics and monetary policy, he was a "Paul Krugman and Donald Luskin disagree about the shape of the earth: who can tell who is right?" guy. Those of us who talked to him took the incompetence for granted—and more than that: a willful desire to not understand the issues because then he might be unable to properly suck up to the sources he wished to suck up too.

Given that history, my mind is closed on the incompetence question. And I'm happy to listen on the racism one:

Roxane Gay: "Guys, Jonathan Weisman emailed me to say he thinks I owe him an 'enormous apology'. The audacity and entitlement of white men is fucking incredible. I am legitimately shocked. Like. What? He also emailed my assistant. WTF? And he also emailed Harper Collins. Uhh, @nytimes, get your boy...

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Hoisted from the Archives: What Was the Point of Robert Woodward's "The Agenda"?

What the Washington Post's headline writers thought that Bob Woodward's The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House was about back in 1994:

Clinton Felt Blindsided Over Slashed Initiatives; 'We're Losing Our Soul' in Cutting Deficit. President and the Fed Forge New Relationship; Greenspan's Economics Lesson Etches Deep Impression in the Clinton Plan. Memo From Consultants Rattles the White House; 'Turkey' of a[n Economic Deficit-Reduction] Plan Still Needed Selling. A War Among Advisers For the President's Soul; Decision-Making, Clarity of Vision Suffer

According to the Washington Post's headline writers (and according to pretty damn near everybody else who read The Agenda that I have talked to), Woodward's book tells the story of a president who (a) feels "blindsided" by their actions, (b) feels that the policies his administration is adopting means that he is losing his soul, (c) finds that the Republican Federal Reserve Chair's views are etching a deep impression on policy, (d) finds himself stuck with a "turkey" of an economic plan, (e) has advisors who fight fiercely in order to (f) control a wishy-washy president, and as a result (g) decision-making suffers and (h) clarity of vision is lost.

Now I was there.

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Can someone parse this for me? On the one hand "I should have... I could also have... voices... ought to have been considered..." and yet "an apology would be the wrong response". Is the claim "I made bad mistakes, but I am proud that I made them, and anyone who wants me to try to fix things should get stuffed?" Isn't that what "I refuse to apologize"! means?: Ian Buruma: An Apology Would Be the Wrong Response: "I should have insisted that the accusations against him were spelt out in more detail. He omitted the fact that he had caused injury, with reports of one woman suffering a cracked rib, and he didn’t mention the large number of women who had accused him. I could also have made it clear that our intention had not been to exonerate him, let alone to excuse violence against women.... The voices of his accusers ought to have been considered, as a response to his evasions...

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Yes, Of Course Larry Kudlow Is For QE Now and Was Against It When Obama Was President. Why Would You Think Otherwise?

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A question: Benedict Trump: @ProtectronArmy: "I wonder if Kudlow was pro or con QE when Obama was President...

I answer: He was against QE when Obama was President. Why would you think otherwise?:

Brad DeLong: @delong: Kudlow was against QE under Obama: The zero-interest-rate target will unfortunately remain in place much longer—until unemployment goes to 6.5 percent or less. Given rising tax and regulatory threats from Washington, and the job-stopping Obamacare regulations and mandates, unemployment may be sticky on the downside. But the big news is that the Fed may stop growing its balance sheet sooner than most market people expect. As someone who is totally uncomfortable with the Fed’s $4 trillion balance sheet and reserve-creation process, I welcome

Larry Kudlow (2013): https://t.co/U85MOHlB73: The zero-interest-rate target will unfortunately remain in place much longer—until unemployment goes to 6.5 percent or less. Given rising tax and regulatory threats from Washington, and the job-stopping Obamacare regulations and mandates, unemployment may be sticky on the downside. But the big news is that the Fed may stop growing its balance sheet sooner than most market people expect. As someone who is totally uncomfortable with the Fed’s $4 trillion balance sheet and reserve-creation process, I welcome the news. The central bank is listening to its critics, both inside and out...

They have no morals and no shame.

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The Financial Times—which in the circles I travel is widely-regarded as the only real newspaper, as the only one where when it publishes new things they are likely to be true while also publishing more than its quota of true things that are new, rather than taking its core mission to be pleasing its well-connected sources first and its advertisers second—should not have published this. Ian Buruma's transgression was that he took his authority and the authority fo the New York Review of Books and used it give a man—Jian Ghomeshi—who had assaulted more than 20 women space to lie, uncorrected. And the FT should correct this story, and add to the article a headnote noting that Ian Buruma does not even now understand how he was unprofessional as an editor: Ian Buruma: Editing in an Age of Outrage: "Ian Buruma lost his job at the NYRB after publishing a controversial article. Here he reflects on what went wrong... '[My] transgression was not that any particular view was defended, but that a person accused of sexual abuses should be heard at all...

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Modern Dan Drezner Is Much Better...

Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers All Items Less Food and Energy FRED St Louis Fed

Dan Drezner: The Worst Piece Of Conventional Wisdom You Will Read This Year: "OK, so, a few things.... Stagflation in the 1970s was caused primarily by an inward shift of the aggregate supply curve due to a surge in commodity prices, particularly energy. Some central banks responded with accommodating monetary policies that accelerated inflation even further. Fiscal policy was an innocent bystander to this whole shebang. So I honestly don’t know what the hell Kinsley is talking about...

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Any New York Times Employees Go Up to Bennet and Baquet Today to Say "You Are Really Screwing the Pooch by Keeping Bret Stephens on!"?

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Bret Stephens is an ass. As are his bosses. Sister Souljah in context: 1992: In Her Own Disputed Words; Transcript of Interview That Spawned Souljah's Story:

Sister Souljah. Black people from the underclass and the so-called lower class do not respect the institutions of white America, which is why you can cart as many black people out on the television as you want to tell people in the lower and underclass that that was stupid, but they don't care what you say. You don't care about their lives, haven't added anything to the quality of their lives, haven't affectuated anything for the quality of their lives, and then expect them to respond to your opinions which mean absolutely nothing? Why would they?

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Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from Others' Archives from Six -and-a-HalfYears Ago: Dan Drezner on Chuck Lane

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Every time I try to get out, they drag me back in...

Now I am being told that nobody with any audience ever thought 15/hour in California was a really bad idea. So time to recall this:

Monday Smackdown/Hoisted from Others' Archives: A correspondent asks me for help: Chuck Lane is being used as an authority on the California's 15/hr by 2023 minimum wage proposal. And Chuck Lane says:

A hot concept in wonkdom these days is “evidence-based policymaking.”… Gov. Jerry Brown and the state’s labor leaders have announced legislation to raise the state’s minimum wage… to $15 per hour…. Whatever else might be said about this plan, it does not represent an exercise in evidence-based policymaking. To the contrary: There’s a total lack of evidence that the potential benefits would outweigh potential costs—and ample reason to worry they would not…

Dan Drezner: Why I Don’t Need to Take Charles Lane Seriously: "The Washington Post’s Chuck Lane wrote an op-ed arguing in favor of Jeff Flake’s amendment...

...to cut National Science Foundation funding for political science. In fact, Lane raised the ante, arguing that NSF should stop funding all of the social sciences, full stop. Now, I can respect someone who tries to make the argument that the opportunity costs of funding the social sciences are big enough that this is where a budget cut should take place.  It’s harder, however, to respect someone who: 

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On MSNBC Right Now... As Always, Much More to Say than I Could...

Berkeley png

2019-04-05 12:30 PM PST: Ali Velshi: MSNBC Live

TALKING POINTS

Greetings:

I bring you greetings from Laura Tyson, whose office I was hanging out here for an hour or so this morning.

The background is a green-screened one:

  • That is not what it looks like here right now.
  • It is a very grey, rainy, foggy day—the latest in more than a month of storms that have come down on us from the north.
  • This is the first time in my life Berkeley has had this early-spring weather pattern
  • Global warming is going to be much more than just the-climate-marches-north-by-three-miles-a-year and we need stronger air conditioners.

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Jill Abramson, Formerly of the New York Times, Has Both a Depraved Heart and a Social Intelligence Deficit

At one point, Jill Abramson formerly of the New York Times had something like this—the lead of an written by Jake Malooley—on her computer screen:

Vice cop

She then copied the text from "when..." to the second "...Darfur" and pasted the three sentences it into an editing window in her manuscript:

Vice cop

She then did not:

  1. enclose it in quotation marks,
  2. add "(quoted from Jake Maloolley: https://www.timeout.com/chicago/things-to-do/vice-cop)", or
  3. move it to a "scratch-sources" part of the document.

Instead, she first deleted the word "Jason":

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The learned and much-worth-listening-to Eric Alterman has darkened my day. I do, however, think it is time for everyone whose career was boosted by making the Faustian bargain of catering to Marty Peretz's bigotries, prejudices, and envies to exit the public sphere, quietly. Perhaps I should make an exception for Peter Beinart, who has done some atonement: Martin Peretz (2007): Tyran-a-Soros: "GEORGE SOROS LUNCHED with some reporters on Saturday at Davos. He talked about spending $600 million on civil society projects during the 1990s, then trying to cut back to $300 million, and how this year it will be between $450 and $500 million. His new projects aim, in Floyd Norris’s words, to promote a 'common European foreign policy' (read: an anti-American foreign policy) and also to study the integration (or so he thinks) of Muslims in eleven European cities...

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Josh Marshall: Why the Outlook for Digital Media Behemoths is Worse than You Think: "There are reasons to own a media company that posts consistent if modest profits.... even reasons to own media companies that lose predictable and relatively small amounts of money every year. The problem is that the people who currently own these companies aren’t in it for any of those reasons.... News organization don’t need to be wildly profitable. But the people who own most digital media today are owning for wild profitability or... the credible hope of future wild profitability... to sell the media companies for big returns. That’s a problem...

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Adrian Wooldridge Is... the Vicar of Bray!: Hoisted from the Archives

Hoisted from the Archives: Adrian Wooldridge Is... the Vicar of Bray!:

"The Illustrious House of Hannover,
And Protestant succession,
To these I lustily will swear,
Whilst they can keep possession:
For in my Faith, and Loyalty,
I never once will faulter,
But George, my lawful king shall be,
Except the Times shou'd alter."

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What Is Going on This Morning Over at "National Review"? Is It Worth Reading? No.

Preview of What Is Going on This Morning Over at National Review Is It Worth Reading No

What is going on this morning over at National Review? Is it worth reading? I read 10 articles, and graded each ops 0-to-10 scale. Total score (out of 100); -45. Beam me up, Scotty. There is no intelligent life there at all:

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Jon Schwarz: The 10 Most Awful Articles in the Weekly Standard’s Short Life I: "'The Collapse of the Dream Palaces' by David Brooks, 2003. The top four places on this list rightfully belong to the Weekly Standard’s voluble case for, and defense of, the Iraq War. And this David Brooks article is unquestionably the most horrifying of them all.... What you may find is that it makes you feel as though a sweaty, middle-aged man is pointing a gun at you and fervently explaining that people like you who wear red shirts are human scum and you, all of you, are about to get what’s coming to you, at last. Then you look down and notice you are not wearing a red shirt, but the man with the gun is. When you’re finished reading the piece, remember that this was published just five months before the New York Times hired David Brooks as an op-ed writer. In other words, the Times saw this gibbering, so disconnected from reality it is functionally insane, and thought: This is exactly who we want explaining the world to our readers...


#shouldread #journamalism #orangehairedbaboons #moralresponsibility

Monday Smackdown/Hoisted: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation"

These may be the paragraphs written in this millennium that have aged least well: John Micklethwaite and Adrian Woodridge: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation": "Looking at 'Pelosiville' and 'Hastertland', it is not difficult to see why American politics has shifted to the Right. If American politics is a seesaw, it is an unevenly balanced one. Imagine Dennis Hastert at one end of the seesaw and Nancy Pelosi on the other end, and you have some idea about which party is sitting with its legs dangling in the air. In the war between the two Americas, Hastertland has been winning...

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Monday Smackdown/Hoisted: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation"

These may be the paragraphs written in this millennium that have aged least well: John Micklethwaite and Adrian Woodridge: The "Hastert' and "Hastertland" Paragraphs from Wooldridge and Micklethwaite's "The Right Nation": "Looking at 'Pelosiville' and 'Hastertland', it is not difficult to see why American politics has shifted to the Right. If American politics is a seesaw, it is an unevenly balanced one. Imagine Dennis Hastert at one end of the seesaw and Nancy Pelosi on the other end, and you have some idea about which party is sitting with its legs dangling in the air. In the war between the two Americas, Hastertland has been winning...

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Monday Smackdown Watch: The New York Times and Bret Stephens Continue to Beclown Themselves Bigtime

The New York Times beclouds itself with: Bret Stephens: The Midterm Results Are a Warning to the Democrats: "Stop manning imaginary barricades, and start building real bridges to the other America. This week’s elections were, at most, a very modest rebuke of a president reviled by many of his opponents, this columnist included, as an unprecedented danger to the health of liberal democracy at home and abroad. The American people don’t entirely agree. We might consider listening to them a bit more—and to ourselves somewhat less. A 27-seat swing gave Democrats control of the House.... The Republican gain in the Senate... underscores what a non-wave election this was...

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One interesting thing here is that Jonathan Swift was one of the biggest political liars of his generation—the anti-Whig Breitbart of his day, in some respects: Jonathan Swift (2010): Political Lying: "A political liar... ought to have but a short memory.... The superiority of his genius consists in nothing else but an inexhaustible fund of political lies, which he plentifully distributes every minute he speaks, and by an unparalleled generosity forgets, and consequently contradicts, the next half hour. He never yet considered whether any proposition were true or false, but whether it were convenient for the present minute or company.... You... will find yourself equally deceived whether you believe or not: the only remedy is to suppose, that you have heard some inarticulate sounds, without any meaning at all...

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*Sigh* Yet More Cleaning Up After the Cockroaches: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal

Author: Sigh Yet More Cleaning Up After the Cockroaches: Archive Entry From Brad DeLong's Webjournal: "A normal person, reading Jonathan Weisman in the Washington Post on June 8, would conclude (i) that Steven Moore is an economist, and (ii) that Kevin Hassett, Eric Engen, Glenn Hubbard, Greg Mankiw, and many other economists are 'reevaluating' the view that budget deficits are a significant minus for the economy, believe that 'the argument against deficits is more about self-righteous moralism than economics', and broadly agree with Richard Cheney's declaration that 'deficits don't matter'...

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(Late) Monday Smackdown: Why Does Clive Crook Think the EU Has a Duty to Sacrifice the Interests Rights of Its Constituents in Brexit Negotiations?

I did not punish this a year ago because it seemed... intemperate. Now it seems not extreme enough. Perhaps if Clive Crook and his colleagues had dared to say: "The Brexiters are bad people pursuing bad policies. They need to be stopped." Instead he and his ilk talked about how important it was that the U.K . have "a fundamentally new relationship" with the E.U., and that the E.U. should bend over backward to make the Brexiters look as good as possible. Not a good look:

Brexit_Means_Brexit

Live from the Orange-Haired Baboon Cage: Across my desk this morning comes this. And it makes me ask: Whatever happened to the sharp, thoughtful, and witty Clive Crook of 2000? Brexiteers lied, and said that Brexit would bring £350 million a week to boost Britain's National Health Service, that Britons would still be able to live in Europe at will while kicking undesirable continentals out, and that Briton would have a hard border with the EU while still having a soft border with the Irish Republic. It was always a grift. Clive Crook now seems to want... what? For the EU to work hard to make Brexit as small a catastrophe as possible? For the EU sacrifice the rights and interests of its citizens to promote the careers of a bunch of neo-fascist nativist grifter politicians in Westminster? Crook seems to think that the EU should be negotiating as if this were an "on what terms will Britain remain in the EU?" deal. But Brexit means Brexit: Clive Crook: The Harder Brexit Gets, the More Necessary It Seems: "The U.K. has been an ill-fitting member of the EU all along...

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Monday Smackdown: What Tobin Harshaw of the New York Times Wants to Be Remembered For: "I Am Not Authorized to Explain Why I Am Not Authorized..."

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Monday Smackdown: What Tobin Harshaw of the New York Times claims he wants to be remembered for. From 2007. No quality control at the New York Times whatsoever. Let us take him at his word, and remember him for this:

Hoisted from 2007: As you may recall, last Friday there was a lot of discussion about revisions to the GISS global warming series of estimated average temperatures in the United States—a revision that changed the hottest year to date in the U.S. from 1998 (which in the old data was 1/100 of a degree hotter than 1934) to 1934 (which in the new data is 2/100 of a degree hotter than 1998) https://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2007/08/why-oh-why-ca-1.html. One surprising thing was that the New York Times's Opinionator weblog https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/... went way overboard on the story:

Among global warming Cassandras, the fact that 1998 was the “hottest year on record” has always been an article of faith.... James Hansen, the climate scientist who has long accused the Bush administration of trying to “silence” him.... [A] Y2K bug played havoc with some of the numbers.... Michael Ashe... explains.... "The changes are truly astounding. The warmest year on record is now 1934. 1998 (long trumpeted by the media as recordbreaking) moves to second place.... [T]he effect on the U.S. global warming propaganda machine could be huge...

This surprised me: "effect... huge," "havoc," the scare quotes around "silence," "data meltdown," et cetera seemed very out of place for a three-one-hundredths of a degree shift--either complete mendacity or total innumeracy, or both.... The Opinionato... Tobin Harshaw, wh... [had] also served as an enthusiastic stenographer for last Friday's Stupidest Man Alive nominee, Tom Nugent of National Review, who slipped a decimal points and wrote a totally off-the-rails piece... overestimating how much money such a tax might raise by a factor of ten. It seemed that Harshaw had failed to do the slightest amount of quantitative due diligence on either story before he committed fingers to keyboard and thus electrons to the nöosphere.... So I called Toby Harshaw.... It seems to me that he and the New York Times have much bigger problems than simple innumeracy:

Brad DeLong: Good afternoon. I'm Brad DeLong, an economics professor calling from UC Berkeley. I read your Cassandra post about global warming data revisions, and had a couple of questions. Can you help me out?

Tobin Harshaw: Certainly.

Brad DeLong: Did you eyeball the data--either in a graph or a table--before you wrote your "Cassandra" post about GISS global warming data revisions?

Tobin Harshaw: Are you writing something about this?

Brad DeLong: I will be, yes.

Tobin Harshaw: Then no, I cannot speak to you. You will have to speak to our public relations department.

Brad DeLong: Why won't you talk to me?

Tobin Harshaw: Because I am not authorized to speak to the press.

Brad DeLong: Because?

Tobin Harshaw: Because that is our policy. Our policy is that editorial staff are not allowed to speak to the press.

Brad DeLong: Seriously? Why is that your policy?

Tobin Harshaw: I am not authorized.

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Big plans for his country. Involving bonesaws. torture. Murder. Dismemberment. Is there any intellectual and moral crime against journalism a New York Times employee can commit that will get him bounced? It appears not: Tom Friedman: Saudi Arabia’s Arab Spring, at Last: "The most significant reform process underway anywhere in the Middle East today is in Saudi Arabia... its own Arab Spring... led from the top down by the country’s 32-year-old crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.... If it succeeds, it will not only change the character of Saudi Arabia but the tone and tenor of Islam across the globe. Only a fool would predict its success—but only a fool would not root for it...

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Shame on the Editors of Vanity Fair!: Highlighted/Hoisted from Two Years Ago

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Comment/Hoisted/Monday Vanity Fair Smackdown: RW: http://www.bradford-delong.com/2016/08/comment-of-the-day-_shame-on-the-editors-of-vanity-fair_-rw-its-been-a-long-time-many-years-in-fact-s.html: : Shame on the editors of Vanity Fair: RW: "It's been a long time, many years in fact...

...but I do seem to recall a version of Michael Kinsley capable of writing cogent and, yes, even generous pieces; his long descent into incoherent, petty sniping has not been pretty.

And: Low-Tech Cyclist: "Kinsley is right that "all is not data" and "data will only take you so far", but...

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Ben Smith disputes the Sokratic doctrine that "nobody does evil knowingly" by pointing to himself as a counterexample. Yet, somehow, he ends his piece by quoting an—anonymous—source: “You almost long for the days when it was a game.” It never was a game, Ben. Policy differences were always large and important. Trying to gain energy to further empower parasitic plutocracy from stoking the ethno-cultural fears of easily-grifted morons has been a major story in American politics since at least the Republican Party's Goldwater turn—and Ben Smith and company worked hard to make sure that that story was always outshouted by horse-race trivialities: Ben Smith: I Helped Create Insider Political Journalism. Now It's Time For It To Go Away: "My colleague Jonathan Martin’s and my blogs were actually illustrated with on-the-nose pen-and-ink caricatures of ourselves sitting on a wooden fence watching a literal horse race...

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Comment of the Day I have noticed this a lot over the past fifteen years. Journalists are very, very bad at citing their sources—it is one minor reason why they have a low reputation. That and their overaddiction to beat sweeteners, when not playing opinions-of-the-shape-of-the-earth-differ: Kansas Jack: The New York Times Has a Serious Quality Control Problem: "Has anyone else noticed that interesting, novel observations at Vox.com, especially by Matt Yglesias, come out a week later, slightly altered in the NYT? Is it just me who thinks that?...

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The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler attacks Beto O'Rourke. There is something deeply mentally, morally, and psychologically wrong here—with Glenn Kessler, with his bosses, and with his colleagues. In a Washington Post with good journalists, there would be a substantial number of resignations today.

Kessler's major point appear to be that Black teenage boys aren't children, and that you are armed and dangerous if you have a toy gun: Glenn Kessler: Beto O’Rourke’s claims on African Americans and police shootings: "If you drill down and look at the data for unarmed black children killed by police, there is virtually no support for the idea that this happens at a frightening level...

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The New York Times has a very, very serious quality control problem: Lawrence Douglas and Alexander George (2018-08-23): If Trump shot Michael Cohen in broad daylight, here's what Republicans would say: "House speaker Paul Ryan: 'If these reports are true–I emphasize IF–then yes, I’m very concerned. I don’t think the president should be killing people in broad daylight in front of Tiffany’s. But I’m not a legal expert, I could be wrong.'...

Senator Mitch McConnell: “People die every day in this country. I’m not going to let myself get sidetracked by these distractions”...

Tom Friedman (2018-08-28): What if Trump Did Actually Shoot Someone on Fifth Avenue?: "House Speaker Paul Ryan said, 'We will need more information than is available at this point'...

...Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said through pursed lips that he “was not going to comment on every up and down with this president”...

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Wise to people who want to be journalists in our current age: (1) Don't expect backup from your peers. (2) rather, the reverse. (3) Falsehood comes faster than you can report it, let alone debunk it: Alexey Kovalev: A message to my doomed colleagues in the American media: "Congratulations, US media! You’ve just covered your first press conference of an authoritarian leader with a massive ego and a deep disdain for your trade and everything you hold dear. We in Russia have been doing it for 12 years now—with a short hiatus when our leader wasn’t technically our leader—so quite a few things during Donald Trump’s press conference rang a bell. Not just mine, in fact—read this excellent round-up in The Moscow Times..."

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Should Kansas's (and Missouri's) Future Be "a Lot More Like Texas"?: Hoisted from the Archives

Clowns (ICP)

Hoisted from them Archives: Should Kansas's (and Missouri's) Future Be "a Lot More Like Texas"?: That is one of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's constant applause lines—that he wants Kansas to be a lot less like California and a lot more like Texas.And so I was reading Bryan Burrough on Erica Grieder: ‘Big, Hot, Cheap and Right’: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas.... Burrough applaud's Erica Grieder's "counter[ing] much of this silliness" that "Texas is corrupt, callous, racist, theocratic, stupid, belligerent, and most of all, dangerous.” The problem is that three paragraphs later Burrough is writing of how:

Texas’s laissez-faire mix of weak government, low taxes and scant regulations is deeply rooted in its 1876 Constitution, which was an attempt to vehemently dismantle an oppressive post-Civil War government of Radical Reconstructionists…

What was most "oppressive" about the Radical Reconstructionists? It was, of course, that they thought African-Americans should vote, and enabled them to do so.

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Am I the only one who remembers journamalist Erica Grieder's carrying water for Texas Governor Greg Abbott's tinfoil hat fear of Operation Jade Helm?: "Greg Abbott’s announcement... that he would direct the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm... has been widely derided as political pandering, stoking paranoia, wasting state resources, and making Texas look silly. Way harsh, guys..." Bending over backward to claim tinfoil hat behavior is not tinfoil hat behavior is never "balance", guys: Cassandra Pollock and Alex Samuels: Hysteria Over Jade Helm Exercise in Texas Was Fueled by Russians, Former CIA Director Says: "Gov. Greg Abbott's decision in 2015 to ask the Texas State Guard to monitor a federal military exercise.... A former CIA director said Wednesday that the move emboldened Russians to next target elections...

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Three cheers for the Verge, willing to tell it like it is and try to be a trustworthy information intermediary: T.C. Sottek et al.: Newsrooms must stand up to targeted campaigns of harassment: "A widespread campaign of harassment has targeted Verge reporter Sarah Jeong for a number of tweets she wrote years ago. Many of those now reacting to these tweets have intentionally taken them out of context...

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(Early) Monday Smackdown: New York Magazine Has a Huge Quality Control Problem with Andrew Sullivan. It Needs to Fix It...

Clowns (ICP)

Quo usque tandem abutere, Newyorkmagina, patientia nostra? Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos1 eludet? Quem ad finem sese effrenata iactabit audacia?Andrew Sullivan (2014-12-22): Excuse Me, Mr Coates: "Dish readers know how comfortable I found myself in that liberal tradition...

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Monday Smackdown: Who Wants Charles Murray to Speak on Their Campus, and Why?

I have a question for Stanford's Michael @McFaul ...

We know that "If the heritability of IQ were 0.5 and the degree of assortation in mating, m, were 0.2 (both reasonable, if only ballpark estimates), and if the genetic inheritance of IQ were the only mechanism accounting for intergenerational income transmission, then the intergenerational correlation of lifetime incomes would be 0.01..." (see Bowles and Giants (2002)). That is only two percent the observed intergenerational correlation—49/50 of the intergenerational transmission of status in America comes from other causes.

Why, then, is it important to invite to your campus to speak someone whose big thing is the intergenerational transmission of intelligence through genes, and racial differences thereof? And if one were going to invite to your campus to speak someone, etc., why would you pick somebody who likes to burn crosses? Wouldn't a healthier approach be to regard such a person—who focuses on the intergenerational transmission of intelligence through genes, harps on genetic roots of differences between "races", and likes to burn crosses—as we regard those who know a little too much about the muzzle velocities of the main cannon of the various models of the Nazi Armored Battlewagon Version 4?: Jonathan Marks: Who wants Charles Murray to speak, and why?: "The Bell Curve cited literature from Mankind Quarterly, which no mainstream scholar cites, because it is an unscholarly racist journal... http://anthropomics2.blogspot.com/2017/04/who-wants-charles-murray-to-speak-and.html

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Public Sphere/Journamalism: Some Fairly Recent Must- and Should-Reads

stacks and stacks of books

  • I think that this is a very important thing to remember. The Fed View—and the zero-marginal-product workers view—and a lot of other pessimistic views about the economy's non-inflationary speed limit for recovery and growth were totally, catastrophically wrong over the past decade. The people who strongly advocated for such views thus had a badly-flawed Vision of the Cosmic All. Thus I think there is no reason to put a weight higher than zero on their current views of how the world works—unless they have publicly and substantially done the work to mark their beliefs to market. Certainly the Federal Reserve has not yet done so: Timothy B. Lee: "Every additional month of strong employment growth and weak wage growth makes people who said we were near full employment in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 look wronger..."

  • Kevin Drum: We Need to Figure Out How to Fight Weaponized Disinformation: "I’ve been blogging for 15 years, and there’s never been a day when I wanted to stop...

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